Educator, Founder and Director of the
Mooredale Youth Orchestras and Mooredale Concerts
Bogyo passed away on Friday at Sunnybrook hospital, after a heroic 14-year
battle with cancer. She was born in Budapest, grew up in Montreal and spent
most of her life in Toronto.
Ms. Bogyo, 60, studied cello with Janos Starker at Indiana University and
Bernard Greenhouse in New York. She founded and conducted the Mooredale
Youth Orchestra, and also founded and was Artistic Director of Mooredale
Concerts, both under the umbrella of the Rosedale-Moore Park Association.
She was also the co-founder of the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound,
The inspiration for the Mooredale Youth Orchestra came from within her own
family. In 1986, when her violin-playing son Julian (who is now assistant
conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra and in the fall becomes
assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony) was 10 years old, Ms. Bogyo
founded the orchestra to give him (and later his cellist brother, Rafael)
and other young musicians the opportunity to play together in a congenial
Today over 100 young musicians ranging in age from
8 to 20 are enrolled in the orchestra where, coached by leading
professionals, they perform three concerts a year. Over the years they have
performed ten symphonies by Haydn, eight by Mozart, four by Beethoven, and a
large number of other important works, all under Ms. Bogyo's direction. The
orchestra gives young musicians the opportunity to work together in a
non-competitive atmosphere, and has had profoundly beneficial effects on the
young participants, who are often isolated in their schools for lack of
enough peers with similar interests. Ms. Bogyo regularly received numerous
letters from the "graduates" and their parents, not just for inspiring them
to love classical music and continue their studies, but for helping them
cope with very difficult periods in their lives.
For Mooredale Concerts, which presents more than a dozen performances a
year, Ms. Bogyo sought out brilliant young Canadian talents and provided
them with cameo appearances at most Mooredale events, often followed by
participation in chamber music with leading professionals. Since 1989, Ms.
Bogyo employed and stimulated over a hundred professional and highly
accomplished young musicians to work together in a variety of chamber
ensembles. Some unknown young performers she showcased in the past have
since become leading Canadian stars, including Isabel Bayrakdarian, Martin
Beaver, Russell Braun, Measha Brueggergosman, Stewart Goodyear, Erika Raum
and James Sommerville.
Ms. Bogyo commissioned several Canadian composers to create new works, most
notably 'A Song of Lilith', which premiered in 2001 and toured in many other
cities across the country. She worked closely with celebrated Canadian
author Joy Kogawa, composer Larysa Kuzmenko and artist Lilian Broca to
create this unique multi-media event.
One of Ms. Bogyo's recent initiatives was Music & Truffles: short,
interactive concerts that introduce classical music to very young children.
With the narrator in a colourful costume performing a script created by Ms.
Bogyo, every performance of Music & Truffles has been sold out since the
series' inception in 2003.
As a performer, Kristine Bogyo appeared as soloist
with many orchestras such as the Montreal Symphony, the New Chamber
Orchestra, the North York Symphony, the Northern Sinfonia, and the
Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, with which she also served as principal cello.
She also played in the orchestras of the Canadian Opera Company, the
National Ballet, and the Toronto Symphony, and participated in Music at
Marlboro, the Festivals of Santa Fe, Parry Sound, Grand Tetons and
Lockenhaus (Gidon Kremer's festival in Austria). She has performed recitals
in Chicago, Cleveland, Princeton, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, among many
others cities, and was heard frequently on the CBC.
In 2005 Ms. Bogyo was summoned to Rideau Hall to
receive the Meritorious Service Medal from Her Excellency the Right
Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, in recognition of her work promoting young
Ms. Bogyo was married to pianist Anton Kuerti. They often performed
together, and also released two successful CD's. In January 2003 CBC
Television featured the couple and their two sons in an hour-long
documentary, called "A Marriage in Music." According to the Montreal Star,
Ms. Bogyo was "one of those rarities that the world of cellists produces
from time to time - a player of strength and vigour who can make a long,
warm lyrical line sing."
In addition to music, Ms. Bogyo was deeply devoted
to literature and visual art, and delighted in roaming the great outdoors
with her husband (and often their children), including raft trips down many
rivers including the Nahanni river in the Northwest Territories.
In addition to her sons and husband, Ms. Bogyo leaves two sisters, Katalina
MacDonald of Saarbruecken, Germany and Esther Bogyo, of Toronto. Mr. Kuerti
says he is determined to see to it that both Mooredale Concerts and the
Mooredale Youth Orchestra continue to thrive as a wonderful living memorial
to his wife's memory. The family have requested that no flowers be sent.
A short memorial service for her many friends and
admirers will be held on Sunday April 15 at Walter Hall, University of
Toronto, at 12:15 PM.
Mooredale Concert Season concludes
April 15, 2007